Paul McCartney was generally known for writing "silly love songs" like "Yesterday" or cheeky whimsy like "When I'm Sixty-Four," but occasionally he could rock every bit as hard as John Lennon. While The Beatles recorded numerous violent rockers, few were more fiery, savage and controversial than McCartney's "Helter Skelter."
In this month's issue of Guitar World, we pay tribute to the high-flying genius of Pete Townshend by taking a look back at the Who's most creative — and most volatile — years. Townshend is also the latest guitar hero to be voted into our Hall of Fame in our annual readers poll, joining the likes of Kirk Hammett, Jimi Hendrix, Slash, Joe Satriani, Stevie Ray Vaughan and other six-string legends.
The Who The High-Flying Genius of Pete Townshend! — Guitar World celebrates its newest Hall of Fame winner with an in-depth look at the period from 1969 to 1973, when Townshend and the Who released four of rock's biggest albums: Tommy, Live at Leeds, Who's Next and Quadrophenia.
Pete Townshend is a killer tunesmith who has penned such rock classics as “My Generation,” “Baba O’Riley” and “Won’t Get Fooled Again.” But the Who guitarist and band leader is also among the most skilled and influential rock rhythm players in history.
Learn the trademark riffs and rhythm guitar mastery of one of rock's greatest pioneers! This second edition of The Who: A Step-by-Step Breakdown of the Guitar Styles and Techniques of Pete Townshend provides a step-by-step breakdown of Townshend's guitar styles and techniques on 13 huge hits by The Who.
It might well have been the end of the Who had Townshend not conceived a grand plan to write a full-blown rock opera. “We were feeling quite out of touch and out of place,” he explains, “thinking, God, we’re not selling singles anymore and neither do we fit into this new psychedelic era. We’re not an experimental band like the Pink Floyd. We’re not a guitar-based blues band like Cream. We don’t have the kind of extreme genius of Hendrix. What do we do? And I started to look at composition as a big issue.”
I have followed Townshend, The Who’s guitarist and principal songwriter, since the mid-'70s, from listening to his tunes, seeing him perform and eventually having conversations with the man himself. At the New York Public Library’s October 8 Q&A event to discuss Townshend's new autobiography, Who I Am, I've come full circle, back into strictly listening mode. It's the place the veteran rock star feels most at ease. He speaks, we listen.
Pete Townshend of The Who will be presented with the Les Paul Award at the 28th Annual Technical Excellence & Creativity Awards. The TEC Awards will take place Friday, January 25, at the Anaheim Hilton during the 2013 NAMM Show.